Alina is a successful track athlete competing at national level in her home nation of Israeli, and internationally.
She was Israeli national champion for the 110 m hurdles three times (2017., 2018 and 2019) and she competes overseas. She is the 5th fastest nationally of all time in this event.
Alina has been vegan since age 18, making the change while still in education. She manages to maintain this during all parts of her season and when travelling abroad. There were two inspirations for the change.
”I adopted a dog from the streets” she says. This made her think about other animals. “And I came across a video on YouTube that was talking about vegan diet and global warming.”
As a vegan she developed her athletic performance and in 2017 achieved what is still her most valued memory. Alina ran a qualifying time for the Universiade games, a version of the Olympics aimed at university students.
“I ran 13.91 in 100 m hurdles in my country Israel” she explains. “Unfortunately I didn’t participate due to being late on the qualifying in my country.”
Plant powered runner
To stay at the top of her sport, Alina has a demanding workload. “I train in the gym 2-3 times a week. Additionally I do two times a week a hurdles session. And in between I do aerobics and sprint sessions.”
Eating lots of tofu, seitan and pea protein shakes helps her achieve this. “I eat a lot of veggies and love soya protein yogurts” she says. Alina has a degree in Nutrition from Hebrew University, so is aware of her needs in this regard.
Alina has noticed a large change in the way vegan is considered during the time she has been vegan, and that people accept it more now.
“In the beginning, no one really understood this matter” she says. “It was an issue for my coach and my athlete friends. Mostly because there wasn’t awareness. Today my coach doesn’t bother me about it because he sees that I’m in great shape.”
Maybe the three national titles has changed his thoughts about veganism too.
“Many of my friends really appreciate me being vegan and not consuming animal products and consider this diet as interesting.”
Still only 25 (in 2021) and with significant successes, Alina wants to keep putting in fantastic performances, and representing veganism is a motivator.
“Mostly I want to set an example that you can be vegan and strong and the myth of being vegan means you’ll be weak and not strong is incorrect. I hope people will consider the idea of becoming vegan as an athlete even for only one day a week.”
While she has been part of the process, of changing perceptions, Alina loves to see how differently veganism is seen.
“I think that the most amazing thing that happened is the awareness!” she says. “So many people aware and understand this philosophy. And of course all the amazing products that are made.”
We look forward to seeing more performances from Alina in future.